Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Miami Vice.

I just did something that managed to scare me. I faced my fear and powered through it anyway.

Today the weather forecast called for a “partly cloudy” forecast. The woman we’re here to interview and take photos of told me that, if the weatherman is telling the truth with that kind of an outlook, it means it’s going to rain. “Partly sunny” means some clouds, but “partly cloudy” all but guarantees some raindrops at some point. I’d never thought of it that way. This morning and afternoon, however, both Miami and Ft. Lauderdale were gorgeous. We managed perfect conditions for some beach shots. Even got to steal some time poolside, which made me very happy.

Sometime after calling it quits and catching up on e-mail and such in the lounge of The Standard, the torrential downpour hit. I’d seen it in the clouds headed this way, but just as promptly disregarded it/them. Clouds don’t scare me none. But, when the rain came, it made me happy. A door was open and I could both smell it and feel it. It practically justified my being inside. And the sounds calmed me. This wasn’t stormy. It was, quite simply, wet.

The lobby/lounge of this place is far from ordinary. It’s like a club. Couches everywhere and constant music—a mix of little you’ve likely ever heard, today reggae and bossa nova were tickling my ears, and I didn’t recognize a single song in about an hours’ time—practically invite you to sit down and relax. One side serves as the lounge. On the other is a waiting area for the restaurant there. It took a good long while before I realized I was sitting in the waiting area for the restaurant. Nobody told me to leave, though, so I kept at it, typing away, thinking drifting, rain-fueled thoughts.

There was a cute hostess just over the way, however, who kept letting people in. There wasn’t much of a wait tonight, but plenty were being let in anyway. She was of questionable ethnic origin, was wearing some very cool black high tops of some sort and, well, everything about her was completely inviting. If she wasn’t showing you to your seat with words, she was doing so with her entire face and eyes. No wonder she was a hostess, right? I noticed her several times in the background and thought little more of it.

As I was closing shop (also known as “about to run my laptop battery dry”), I got a hunch. I wanted to let her know some of what had gone through my head just being the casual observer I am and was. I thought, if anything, it might give her a little boost and allow her to beam a little brighter with that smile of hers. I even imagined myself just walking over to her when she had a spare second, saying, “I think you’re just beautiful” and then just walking away. Cut and run, right?

I wasn’t able to do that, though. I chickened out. Instead, I wrote her a note.

I didn’t spend very much time drafting it out. Figured this was one of those things that could be very simple, yet say a lot at the same time. I tore a page out of my poetry journal and sketched out a few lines. Roughly paraphrasing now, I said something like:

Dear hostess (I don’t know your name):

You are very beautiful. [this was in its own box]

I’m too shy to say this sort of thing to you in person, but knew I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you know somehow.

Have a lovely evening … An admirer.

I folded the piece of paper in half, wrote “Open Me” on the outside (so Alice in Wonderland, right?) and managed to leave it at her little podium of a station when she’d left for, oh, 30 seconds or less. And that was the part that scared me. That she might come back and catch me in the process of being stupidly brave for a second.

Or was it brave? Maybe I was being a chicken by writing instead of saying? My fingers are, after all, much more bold than my face and mouth let on. And, well, was this a bit of a stalker thing to do? Should I have left lyrics to a Police song as well—can’t you see you belong to me, etc.? Maybe in this day and age, a random act like that is frowned upon. After all, it’s not something I do enough to know better, one way or the other. Luckily, though, I didn’t think much of the consequences. I just did it.

I fled the scene pretty rapidly, then crouched on a stairway, just outside the lobby. Its glass walls allowed me to peek inside. I thought seeing her reaction would be something I’d really like. Would she look around, scared? Or would she smile? I fiddled with my cell phone some while I half-waited for her to return. It was then that I heard someone approach the stairway up top. Or I thought I did. Nobody was trying to get by me or anything. I stood up, either to allow the person by or see if my mind was playing tricks on me.

It was her, probably returning from a bathroom break of some sort.

Being scared quickly transformed into my feeling full on stupid. She, ever the gracious hostess, even apologized to me (using an indistinguishable accent I still can’t place). She hadn’t wanted to interrupt whatever it was I was so intent on doing. She even seemed poised to take another route if I hadn’t have stood up. I let her by, however, and quickly retreated to my room. It’s where I am now.

Now I have no reaction to share. I wish I did. Hopefully, she took it in the spirit it was intended. I’m glad I let my impulsive notion get the best of me. Mostly? I hope she doesn’t figure out it was me who did it. I wanted to pay a compliment, nothing more. I hope it just makes her happy. But, partly? Yeah, I hope she does figure it out. After all, it sure seems like she was a smart girl.


heatherlynn said...

these last two posts=miami does good things for you. there is a different feel to what you've been writing. before=good. these past two=succinct. excellent flow. bravo. (love this story).

Cindy said...

If I were there, I would do the chicken dance around you.

I'll bet she wishes it was you!

brent said...

Cindy! Ha ha! That's awesome.

Really, D, you know you've got the goods. You should, no, on behalf of all those who read this blog, I command you to follow up and let this beauty know what's on your mind. Come on! You owe it to yourself. And more importantly, us!

I want to know how it ends!

brent said...

or begins for that matter!

Sarita said...

I respect any guy willing to make such a gesture. My brother in law first met my sister by slipping her a note that said "I'm gonna go for broke. I'm madly in love with you".

Of course if everyone did that all the time, it could become a bit passe. But I dont forsee that happening.

Dainon said...

It ended before it began, y'know? I just wanted to pay her a compliment, not start a romance. I'm just hopeful it worked out all right.

Laura said...

This might be the cutest thing ever...

Mikusan said...

I used to think "vice" cops were only a sub-set of cops - like a vice president or vice chancellor. I wondered why they could afford a Ferrari when other police bareIy pay the bills. Sadly, it was only a couple of years ago that I realized they were for vices - like drugs and alcohol.)

f*bomb. said...

Two things:
1) It rains every day in Florida in the late afternoon from approximately 3pm-5pm. There is no use of umbrella if you stand under 5'10" (at LEAST), because the bottom 3' of you will wade through puddles regardless.
2) Compliments are always nice. People are afraid to give them- suspicious of the implications or ulterior motives. But I think withholding does no good to anyone. You don't get to make a kind observation, and they don't get to know they were appreciated.
Keep giving them. The shyness will pass and then everyone will just think you're superfriendly. And that's a compliment, too.

Dainon said...

I'm totally going to be a compliment-giver. Always. It's my new goal.

Anne said...

I know I'm a stranger, but I couldn't read this post without commenting. I love that you did that. Receiving a note like that would have made my whole life. Seriously.